For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
Christmas… a time to look forward to, a holiday many enjoy and the world celebrates. There are traditions, presents and time together. Good, fun times were always anticipated until Grandma passed away. The food we ate, the place we gathered and the presents we received all changed. It seemed Christmas would never be the same. I wasn’t sure I wanted to celebrate.
As I wrestled with grief and let the tears fall, a thought came to mind - yes, our extended family celebration would look different than all the previous years, but Christmas will never change. This holiday is not about the gifts or the gatherings, not even the food or family… it’s about Jesus. The baby who was born to die.
Remembering the reason for the season shifted my thoughts, instead of dreading a day I’d always enjoyed I was grateful for the gift God had given. Over two thousand years ago, God sent His Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16). Because of what began at Christmas, my grandma was in heaven.
God’s gift was bigger than that though… it didn’t just save my grandma, it also sustains me. Daily I can unwrap His Peace, His Wisdom and His Grace. Jesus can always fill me with His Power and wrap me in His Love. If I simply receive the gift He has to offer.
Christmas without the ones we love is hard, it’s different. We hurt, we cry and we grieve. We long for the way things were, but in those moments may we remember the reason for the season and celebrate the One who loves us, will never leave us and longs to comfort us!
Friend, if you are missing a loved one this Christmas, share your pain with God, ask Him for comfort and trust Him with your grief. Though it seems the loss changes everything, thank God for what stays the same - Him, His Love and His Presence in your life.
If grief isn’t a part of your Christmas, remember those around you who are celebrating without the one they love. Reach out to them, share a smile or a memory. Let them know their loved one is not forgotten and neither is their pain.
This Christmas let’s receive God’s Love and share it too!
Dear Heavenly Father, though Christmas is sometimes hard because we miss the ones we love, help me remember the gift You gave - Your Son, Jesus, a baby born to die. Thank You for this gift of love, help me receive it. In times of grief and sadness, remind me of the reason and fill me with Your Peace. Mighty God, I ask You for the power to press on and Everlasting Father, I thank You for carrying me when it’s hard to walk. Wonderful Counselor, I pray You’d fill my mind with wisdom and may the Prince of Peace rule my heart. This Christmas help me remember it’s not about the people I celebrate with, but the One we celebrate! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.